July 12, 2020 / 6:34 AM / 22 days ago

Saudi Telecom extends Vodafone Egypt stake purchase for second time

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective face mask waits with others outside a branch of Vodafone Egypt Telecommunications Co, amid concerns over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Cairo suburb of Maadi, Egypt April 22, 2020. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s largest telecoms operator Saudi Telecom Co (STC) (7010.SE) said on Sunday it would need another two months to complete the purchase of Vodafone Group’s 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt.

STC signed a non-binding agreement in January to buy the majority stake for $2.4 billion, but extended the process in April by 90 days, citing logistical challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, STC said it was extending this period again until September for the same reasons.

Vodafone Egypt is the country’s biggest mobile operator with 44 million subscribers and a 40% market share.

STC is majority owned by Saudi Arabia’s state fund the Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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